Storm Callum: Orange warning takes effect amid 'potentially dangerous' conditions

Latest: A Status Orange weather warning is now in effect for 13 counties as Storm Callum hits Ireland.

The warning came into effect from 10pm for counties Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Clare, Dublin, Louth, Wexford, Wicklow, Meath and Waterford.

Winds of up to 130 kilometres an hour are expected along with some coastal flooding as it moves in a northerly direction over the country.

Further weather warnings come into effect from midnight for the rest of the country, with the storm's effects set to pass by early evening tomorrow.

Met Éireann said there would be stormy conditions throughout the country tonight and that coast would be "potentially dangerous" overnight and in the morning.

The forecaster said that it would become very windy or stormy tonight as frontal rain-bands extend northwards across Ireland.

It said that winds would strengthen as they headed south or southeasterly in direction and that there would be "severe and potentially damaging wind gusts likely, especially in coastal districts".

The National Emergency Co-ordination Group warned that Storm Callum could cause widespread flooding tonight while surges are also possible when the storm makes landfall with high tides forecast.

Aer Lingus said that a number of its European flights have been cancelled for tomorrow, with passengers advised to check the status of their flight with their airline or its website before travelling tomorrow.

Kerry Airport announced that due to the weather warning, Friday morning’s 7.30am Aer Lingus Regional Flight EI3201 operated by Stobart Air from Kerry to Dublin has been cancelled.

Shannon Airport said its airline schedules are currently operating as normal and that they not been advised of any alteration to tomorrow’s schedule.

Earlier: Storm Callum: Schools told to 'err on the side of caution' over opening tomorrow

Schools have been advised to "err on the side of caution" over whether to open tomorrow as Storm Callum is set to batter many areas of the country overnight.

The Department of Education has advised schools and third-level institutions in areas affected by the Staus Orange warning to "remain vigilant" and stay up to date with weather updates.

The advice came following a meeting of the National Emergency Coordination Group this afternoon.

Schools have been told they have the power to decide whether they will close if it's in the interests of child safety to do so.

Met Éireann extended the Orange Warning to 6pm on Friday for the coastal areas of Donegal, Sligo, Mayo, Galway and Clare.

The forecaster said further warnings were being considered later for Friday across parts of the south and east, with the risk for another swathe winds and rain but that the severity and likelihood of these secondary events appear to have lessened.

The National Emergency Coordination Group said it was working actively with Met Éireann and OPW to monitor and track the evolving storm and that it will reconvene tomorrow at 10am to review the impact of the storm.

It said Crisis Management Teams and Local Coordination Groups have been activated in the coastal counties affected by the Orange warning.

Minister Eoghan Murphy said he had contacted local authorities to ensure that the necessary arrangements are in place to ensure the safety of rough sleepers.

Cold weather plans have been put in place in Dublin and other main urban centres, extra emergency beds have been put in place and outreach teams have been on the streets to engage with rough sleepers.

Dublin City Council said that its Housing First Outreach Teams (operated by Focus Ireland and the Peter McVerry Trust) will be out on the streets of Dublin to provide support for homeless people during the storm.

Between 150 to 180 people will be on the streets of Dublin during Storm Callum tonight according to Inner City Helping Homeless.

The Council said that its teams will be engaging with people at risk of rough sleeping and working with them to access supports and shelter, and has asked the public to report anyone who is sleeping rough by contacting them.

ESB Networks said it is preparing for the high winds and intense rainfall associated with the storm, and have advised people to avoid fallen or damaged electricity wires.

Customers who may experience power outages can check for updates on the ESB website.

A number of National Parks and Nature Reserves will be closed tomorrow in counties Wicklow, Wexford, Kilkenny, Galway, Clare and Mayo. Visitors are also asked not to visit Killarney National Park, Cork and Kerry Nature Reserves for the duration of the Status Orange warning in Cork and Kerry.

Employers have also been advised to prepare for Storm Callum and to remain vigilant in order to reduce the potential impact on business, as well as to ensure the safety of employees is taken into account.

Update - 10.30pm: National Emergency Coordination Group to meet ahead of storm arrival

The National Emergency Coordination Group is meeting later this afternoon to prepare for the arrival of Storm Callum.

Met Éireann has issued a status Orange warning for 13 counties.

Emergency teams across the country are meeting today to plan for high winds and heavy rain as Storm Callum is expected to hit our shores later tonight.

Kerry County Council’s Severe Weather Assessment Team is advising people to take extreme care overnight and during the morning work and school commute with a risk of fallen trees and branches on roads, and to tie down any loose items like trampolines and bins.

In Galway, the council is taking preventative measures - they are installing an aquadam - a large water filled barrier- between the Spanish Arch and Wolfetone Bridge along the quay wall and closing car parks at risk of flooding in Salthill.

High tides of 5.2 metres are expected and the OPW is predicting a surge of point 8 metres which would bring the total rise to 6 metres lapping Galway harbour which in the worst case scenario could flood the city centre and Salthill.

Cork County Council is also working on preventative measures and Donegal County Council’s Crisis Management Team is working to finalise necessary arrangements.

The weather forecaster is warning of heavy rain and high tides - with a risk of coastal flooding and damage in parts.

Met Éireann meteorologist Harm Luijkx explains: "I would advise people to avoid coastal regions in particular because there is also high tides and with the strong winds coastal flooding is likely and overtopping of waves as will it will make it very dangerous near the coast.

"Further inland, it will be very windy and people need to take care when travelling."

'Severe winds' and flooding as orange warning to come into effect

"Severe winds" and flooding is expected later today with Storm Callum set to hit Ireland.

A Status Orange weather warning will come into effect for 13 counties tonight.

The effects of Storm Callum are expected from 10pm tonight - when the orange weather warning kicks in for counties Cork and Kerry.

Winds will then pick up from midnight around the rest of the country.

In total, 13 counties have an orange weather warning in place - the second highest level of severity - they include: Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Clare, Dublin, Louth, Wexford, Wicklow, Meath and Waterford.

A yellow warning will also be in place for the rest of the country at the same time.

Meteorologist with Met Éireann, Joanna Donnelly, says people need to take this storm seriously.

"Although the winds will be strongest at the coast they will also be strong inland too with gusts expected up to 110km per hour inland and up to 130km per hour at the coast," said Ms Donnelly.

Road users are also being advised to take care, Brian Farrell from the Road Safety Authority said: "We've got to watch out for debris, falling debris, wheelie bins can be blown out onto the road.

"The danger is trees coming down, branches coming down but, of course, leaves as well coming down on the footpaths and the road."

Motorists are also being advised to leave extra space between themselves and other vehicles, particularly cyclists and pedestrians.

The Road Safety Authority has issued the following advice for road users:

  • Beware of objects being blown out onto the road. Expect the unexpected.
  • Watch out for falling/fallen debris on the road and vehicles veering across the road
  • Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong cross winds. High sided vehicles and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds
  • Allow extra space between you and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists
  • Drive with dipped headlights at all times.
  • The warnings are set to remain in place until 9am tomorrow for most of the country.

    Storm Callum is expected to pass over the country in a northerly direction, with warning for Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Clare set to expire at around lunchtime tomorrow.

    Digital Desk

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